Lexus' RX model has been a stalwart in the lineup, a five-seater SUV offering luxury amenities. For 2013, the vehicle experiences little change from previous model years, with no change in engine or basic features.
This model gets the addition of F Sport trim, Lexus' attempt at sports car credibility. However, on the RX this trim does little for performance while removing the car's luxury ride quality.
The engine, buried in this sea of plastic, remains the same from the previous model year, and gets no upgrade for the F Sport trim. The engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 producing 270 horsepower.
F Sport gives the RX 350 more rigid suspension tuning, which results in better handling but also makes the ride rougher. An all-wheel-drive system includes a differential lock mechanism, useful for particularly slippery surfaces.
The RX 350 boasts 40 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, and more than twice that area with the seats down.
Power-adjustable leather seats with memory settings give the RX 350 its luxury character.
The rear seat is not much more than a bench, although a rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available for the RX 350.
Where previous RX models had a wheel you could turn with a single finger, this one required a little more effort -- maybe two or three fingers.
Lexus keeps the instrument cluster simple, with the inclusion of useful trip data on the center LCD.
As an odd choice for the F Sport trim, Lexus throws in an eight-speed automatic transmission, giving the RX 350 two more gears than come with other trims. Sporting performance benefits little from the different transmission.
The cabin electronics system uses this home-screen showing all the menu options. The design is very nice, although getting the right button with the cursor control system can be difficult.
The maps, which show only in this flat view, include useful graphics for upcoming turns when under route guidance.
Lexus gives you the option of splitting the screen, showing the map on one side and audio information on the other.
Sirius Travel Link brings in useful external data, such as weather and fuel prices.
HD radio in the RX 350 offers better audio quality and access to a station's multicasts.
The Bluetooth audio streaming screen shows full artist and song information.
With either an iOS device or USB drive, the stereo shows this music library interface.